Zynda lived her whole life in Annwyn, one of the most talented shifters of the Tala. Leaving her protected home with the Dafne and Jepp on the mission to Nahanau and Dasnaria, Zynda harbored a personal mission: to learn how to take Final Form, the dragon. Marskal, one of Ursula’s Hawks, noticed Zynda right from the start and fell in love with her the more time he spent with her. Being assigned as Zynda’s personal guard allows him to spend more time with her, and he’ll take whatever he can get.
The Shift of the Tide picks up the adventures of the Uncharted Realms following High Queen Ursula’s near death. Now back on Nahanau, Ursula and Dafne want Zynda to help locate the lost kingdom of N’andanan; however, Zynda has her own agenda, which takes over the storyline. While I enjoyed Zynda’s journey as she progresses towards her goal of Final Form, I missed the forward momentum of the overall storyarc regarding N’andanan and the attacks by the Deyrr. Yes there are bits and pieces, but nothing substantial, and in that sense, the book has almost a transitional quality, putting cogs in place for the future telling.
I enjoyed both Zynda and Marskal. While I was a bit disappointed that Marskal was already “in love,” I found Zynda’s acceptance of his love, along with her own personal development made for an enjoyable tale. Marskal is everything Zynda needs, and I love how she recognizes it, but uses her determination to take Final Form to help the Tala as excuses for not accepting it. And as the story progresses, I grew to like Zynda more and more. I like how she had to completely rethink her life. I liked seeing the reasons for the pressures she faces (puts on herself) everyday once she’s back in Annfwn. Then there is Marskal, who almost always knows how to encourage Zynda. He seems to know before she does, just what she needs. To be held, to be nourished, to be pushed. It’s his patience and devotion that makes the romance work so well.
With that said, I felt something was lacking in The Shift of the Tide, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. While the romance isn’t as central as in other books, that really isn’t what is missing. The plot felt choppy, like some piece of story building was gone and that prevented me from fully immersing myself. I liked the characters, but needed more from them. Additionally, I felt the last 10% of the book was too easy and quick, with a few key elements coming off anti-climatic, which added to my frustrations with the story.
In the end, I struggled with The Shift of the Tide. I wanted to like it more than I did because I adore this series so much. Yet, I never was able to fully immerse myself into the story. However, I did enjoy Zynda and Marskal, and hope to see more of them in future titles. The story is a must read for fans of the series, setting up bits and pieces for the battle to come.
My Rating: C+